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Individual postgraduate modules

Course length
  • If undertaking four 30 credit modules: 1 year full-time
  • For each 30 credit module: 1 term part-time
  • honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent in an appropriate subject

During the academic year 2016/17, it will be possible for you to undertake one or more Postgraduate Modules as a short course. Modules may be studied in 'Visiting' or 'Auditing' study modes.

Visiting students undertake academic assessments in order to gain 30 postgraduate level credits for each module. These credits may be recognised by another higher education provider should you wish to continue your studies in this area. (Please note this is entirely at the discretion of the institution to which you apply and we cannot guarantee these credits will be accepted).

Auditing students  attend classes without committing to academic assessment.

The timetable for 2016-17 can be found in the Postgraduate Options Handbook at the bottom of this page.

Postgraduate Modules 2016/17

Click on each module title for a brief description.
A Critical Investigation of the Gospel of Mark

Focus on the enigmatic figure of Mark’s Jesus.

In this module, we shall bring the tools of modern biblical criticism to bear on a narrative text, probably the earliest of the canonical gospels. Different critical methodologies highlight different aspects of this important work, but all will, in some way, focus on, and illuminate, the enigmatic figure of Mark’s Jesus, perhaps the most challenging character of the gospel tradition.

Augustine and the Christian Tradition

Examine Augustine’s classic influence through the centuries from the Patristic era through to the modern age. You will investigate the criteria of truth in the Christian tradition, examine Augustine’s central writings and consider how they have shaped Western Christian teaching.

This module is an introduction to Augustine, who has influenced Christian thought in the West more than any other post-Biblical writer.  We shall follow his influence down into the eighteenth century, to give an idea of the ‘classical’ theology which the modern thinkers you will then explore have had as a foundation to build on or react against. After a brief introduction to the criteria of truth in the Christian tradition, the module will examine central writings of Augustine and the way in which they have shaped Western Christian teaching, with special attention to the following topics:  

  • The Trinity and Christ, Christ and the Church
  • The human person in the image of God, nature and grace  
  • The Church in the World, Sex and marriage
  • The heirs of Augustine in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation
  • Augustine and the Enlightenment
Biblical Hebrew

An introduction to grammar and biblical texts in Hebrew.

This module will introduce you to the fundamental rules of Hebrew grammar while providing the basics for understanding the language syntax and building up an extent vocabulary. This should give you the tools for further exegetical work in the Hebrew Bible and should enable you to read it in Hebrew with the aid of a dictionary.

Bioethics and Sexual Ethics

Examine some of the pressing issues of the day, including: reproductive technologies and embryo research, euthanasia, abortion, transplants, divorce and remarriage and homosexuality and gay parenting.

Central Themes in Modern Christian Theology

Explore the key themes in Christian theology through the lens of ideas and theologians.

This module looks at the key themes in Christian theology, especially Trinity, Christology and Soteriology, using modern theologians and ideas as the main emphasis for study. Topics covered will typically include:

  • The role that a doctrine of creation can play in our understanding of God.
  • The doctrine of election in connection with the doctrine of God.
  • The links between the paschal mystery and the Trinity, especially with regard to ‘divine suffering’.
  • The role that experience can play in theology, and how best to understand the development of dogma to which its inclusion gives rise.
  • The classic metaphors of salvation in the Christian tradition, displaying a hermeneutical sensitivity to their use.
  • The main soteriological strategies of the twentieth century to be found in transcendental Thomism, theologies of liberation and dramatic soteriology.
  • The recovery of eschatology in current soteriology
Christian Relations with Buddhism and Hinduism

Focus on the dialogue between Christian faith and religious traditions originating on the Indian sub-continent.

This module focuses on the dialogue between Christian faith and the great religious traditions which have originated on the Indian sub-continent; topics include Hindu theology, mysticism and spirituality, the Dalit movement, Engaged Buddhism and liberation theology, the silence of the Buddha and the question of God.

Christianity in Dialogue

Discuss key themes such as Church and mission, dialogue and inculturation, salvation and the action of the Holy Spirit in a pluralist world.

This module focuses on the theology of religions as it has emerged in the last few decades.  It begins by discussing the terms of the ‘threefold paradigm’ and its origins in the ‘normative pluralism’ of John Hick.  Important issues about the Church’s relationship with other religious traditions are addressed, including salvation, mission, revelation and the uniqueness of Christ.  It then takes up a variety of more practical as well as theological questions arising from the Church’s experience of dialogue with ‘the other’ at a number of levels – common life, common action, religious experience and theological exchange.  Some recent interreligious practices are considered – including Scriptural Reasoning and Comparative Theology – and the terms of a pneumatological theology of religions are sketched out. 

Contemporary Christian Thought

Study Christian theological inquiry into faith as it is confronted by the challenges of the modern world.

You will cover biblical hermeneutics and the question of ‘the historical Jesus’, the Second Vatican Council, and the Church’s on-going engagement with major world religions and with critical philosophical inquiry arising from modern and post-modern unbelief.

Contemporary Judaism

Look at how Judaism has been transformed and fragmented by its encounter with the modern world by reviewing the intellectual challenges of the Enlightenment, major ethical dilemmas and the impact of feminism on personal and community relationships.

Judaism has been transformed and fragmented by its encounter with the modern world.  In the mid-twentieth century Jews suffered the greatest catastrophe of their history and only three years later found themselves confronted by the challenges of renewed political power. The Holocaust and the development of Israel are central to modern Jewish thought, but they have elicited conflicting responses and left Jews deeply divided.  Judaism had already been fragmented by the intellectual challenges of the Enlightenment and the complex and divisive experience of integration into nineteenth century civil society. Today Jewish religious and secular thinkers continue to debate these issues at the same time as they are faced by challenges that range from the major ethical dilemmas of our time to the impact of feminism on personal and communal relationships.  

Critical Aspects of Biblical Interpretation (New Testament)

Focus on the history of interpretation and the methodologies of the New Testament.

You will cover interpretations from the earliest times of the Patristic period, and you will look at medieval, modern and postmodern times.

Critical Aspects of Biblical Interpretation (Old Testament)

Concentrate on a choice of Old Testament texts.

Examine critical ways these texts have been and are being read through patristic, medieval, modern and postmodern eyes.Texts will also be read through a variety of Christian and Jewish interpretative approaches.



Environmental Change, Sustainable Development and Global Ethics

An interactive and interdisciplinary module designed to explore ethical issues related to the humanity’s impact on the physical environment.

Following the UN summit in New York on sustainable development goals in September 2015 and the inter-governmental meeting in Paris in December 2015 that will sought to establish binding climate change protocols, environment and sustainability are be on the agenda of policy-makers at the international and local levels. Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment will also stimulate discussion about the ethical and religious dimensions of climate change and sustainability. This new and timely module will offer a framework for thinking about these issues.

Taught as an intensive module over 4 consecutive Saturdays. Teaching dates for 2016/17 are yet to be published.

Ethical Issues Today

Consider contemporary ethical issues including the environment, mass media, war and peace.

Using the contextual and theoretical understanding of the discourse of ethics, this module will lead you into a more thorough, academically informed consideration of a range of contemporary ethical issues, related to: the environment; aging (gero-ethics), the mass media; political obligations; equality and inequalities, work and leisure; intellectual property rights; war and peace; punishment of criminals.

Foundations in Ethics

An introduction to themes in ethical theory.

This module lays the foundation for the study of ethics by giving you an introduction to some major themes in ethical theory and areas of contemporary debate.  Themes studied include: major influences on ethical debate (relativism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, virtue ethics); the distinctive contributions of Christian ethics; conscience; Human Rights; law and morality.

Foundations for the Study of Christian Spirituality

Examine theoretical issues surrounding religious experience and spirituality as an academic field which studies this experience.

The module will provide a foundation for the interdisciplinary academic study of spirituality.  The theoretical issues surrounding religious experience both as religious and ‘experience’ as such, and spirituality as an academic field which studies these experiences, will be investigated with a critical eye toward effective methodologies.  Students will have practical exposure to such methods by applying them to a spiritual classic.


Foundations of Pastoral Theology

Bring together key theological elements with a reflective approach to Christian ministry.

This module aims to establish foundations for pastoral studies by bringing together key theological elements with a reflective approach to Christian ministry. It will introduce a range of issues in methodology for pastoral theology; ecclesiology in pastoral ecclesiology; Christian ministry; theological reflection.

General Introduction to Canon Law

Look at the origin and growth of canon law.

Study the ecclesiology that is embodied in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, as contrasted with the 1917 Code.  You will cover the functions canon law performs in the Church, as well as guidelines for interpretation.  Selected canons on general norms will be analysed.

History of Christian Mysticism to the Reformation

Focus on the writings of the major writers including Augustine, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross to show how Christian mysticism emerged and developed.

This module focuses on the historical tradition of Christian mysticism in Western Christianity up to (not including) the Reformation, the period of its longest sustained development.  Seven major writers are treated in detail: Augustine, Dionysius the Areopagite, Bernard of Clairvaux, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross. Some further authors are studied for background, such as Origen.  The writings of these authors, in translation, are the central object of study, with historical and cultural considerations brought to their interpretation.  A nexus of key themes is followed through the texts and the historical period to show how Christian mysticism emerged and developed.  The emphasis is historical, to retrieve the medieval history of Christian mysticism for present discussion and nourishment.

Introduction to Philosophy

You will have an initiation into the analytic method of philosophising and also to the central questions from the history of philosophy.

Jewish-Christian Relations

You will study themes including the ground-breaking declaration of the Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate, Jewish and Christian accounts of the early formative period of the Church, the impact of the Qumran discoveries, post-Holocaust thought and the influence of contemporary Jewish thinkers on Christian theology.

The retrieval of the ‘Jewish matrix’ – Christianity’s origins in the religious life and thought of the Jewish people – may be counted as one of the most important developments in contemporary Christian theology.  This module begins with a schematic overview of relations between the two traditions, from the ‘parting of the ways’ to the Nazi Holocaust.  In responding to this history, a number of themes will be treated, including the significance of Nostra Aetate and subsequent moves within the churches to address the legacy of Christian anti-semitism, Jewish and Christian accounts of the early formative period, the effect on modern scripture scholarship of the Qumran discoveries, post-Holocaust thought in both Judaism and Christianity, the influence of contemporary Jewish thinkers such as Rosenzweig, Buber and Levinas on Christian theology, the emerging tradition of a Christian ‘theology of Judaism’, the significance of the Jewishness of Jesus for Christology and of the continuing vitality of the Jewish people for ecclesiology, and Jewish and Christian accounts of other religious traditions.  

Knowledge and Reality

Examine current theories in epistemology and analytic metaphysics.

Gain detailed knowledge of the central philosophical themes in these important areas, such as justification, perception, scepticism, realism, causation, persistence through time, freedom, and existence.

Logic and Language

This module provides detailed knowledge of some of the major trends in current philosophical logic and in philosophy of language.

Explores some key views of Frege, Russell and Kripke on meaning and reference, and presents the current state of debate as regards truth, theories of meaning, interpretation, and contextualism within the philosophy of language.

Market Economy, Ethics and the Meaning of Life

Probe the themes of economy and the common good, goods, values, and the discourse of business ethics, and marketing, ethics.

This interactive and interdisciplinary module designed to explore the themes of ‘economy and the common good’, ‘goods, values, and the discourse of business ethics’ and ‘marketing and ethics’ and ‘moral imagination and character of the business professional’.  Questions considered during the course include : Can it be meaningful to speak of the common good in relation to markets? Which goods are not for sale? What are the main strengths of, and challenges presented by, market economies at present in social and economic terms? What is the discourse of business ethics? Various case studies are introduced throughout the course in order to address these questions and discuss the possibilities of responsible business practice.

Taught as an intensive module over 3 days. Teaching dates for 2016/17 are yet to be published.

Marriage in Canon Law

Explore the meaning of marriage as a partnership of the whole life, and investigate consent, nullity and the effects of prenuptial agreements on these concepts. You will look at the difference between dissolution of marriage in the Roman Catholic Church and a civil divorce.

Central to this lecture and seminar module will be a consideration of the success or otherwise of attempting to translate the doctrine of Vatican II regarding marriage, into canonical categories. The substantive issue of matrimonial consent will be dealt with in detail, as well as the present law of canonical form. The module will end by examining the procedural law on marriage, particularly with regard to nullity, or invalidity

Mental Health, Religion and Culture

Consider the cultural context of religious beliefs and the implications of culture and behaviour on mental health and illness.

This module explores the relationships between religion and mental health and the cultural contexts in which the concepts of mental health and religion are embedded.

  • Relationship between different models of mental health and religiousness
  • Psychiatry and views of mental health across cultures
  • Religious and spiritual issues in psychotherapy
  • Psychosis and visionary experience
  • Religion, self-esteem, shame, and guilt
  • Religion, dissociation and somatisation
Mind and Psychology

Think critically about the nature of the mind, its relation to the body, and the philosophical implications of contemporary theories in cognitive and evolutionary psychology.

By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the theoretical links between philosophy and psychology and will have knowledge of debates concerning consciousness, functionalism and the computer model of mind, mental causation, and other related topics.

Mission and Ministry

Explore the missionary and ministerial dimensions of the Church and Christian life.

Examine the contemporary call to a ‘new evangelisation’, and ethical issues arising in relation to ministerial practice.

Modern Theologies of Liturgy

Study the approaches of modern liturgical theologians to explore the relationship between liturgy and church.

In this module we discuss contemporary understandings of liturgical and especially eucharistic theology, through an ecumenical range of writers, including Casel, Kilmartin, Schmemann, Chauvet, Kavanagh and Irwin.  We also explore the range of cultural influences on liturgy; and by doing this, our liturgical theology

Moral Development, Reasoning and Decision Making

Investigate the meaning, role and patterns of moral growth.

You will be helped to think in an informed and structured way about the meaning, role and patterns of moral growth. The module examines selected psychological theories of ego, cognitive and affective development as well as ideas associated with moral growth in virtue ethics, some of these ideas will be challenged by recent developments in social psychology to which you will be introduced. Such concepts as ‘akrasia’, ‘growth-through-moral-failure’ and ‘moral luck’ will also be studied. The module will propose a framework for thinking creatively about moral growth. This framework will be tested against one or two moral-life-narratives, real or fictional.

Muslim-Christian Relations

Look at how Christians have responded over 14 centuries to the claim that God has abrogated Christ’s mission by sending the Qur’an and how Christians living in contemporary Britain might best approach the growing presence of Islam. You will focus largely on issues of religious thought and will also examine some of the issues involved in the complex relationship between Islam and modernity.

The existence of Islam presents Christians with a unique challenge: the claim that God has abrogated Christ’s message with a subsequent revelatory initiative, the Arabic Qur‘ān revealed to Muḥammad. This module explores the full implications of this fundamental religious datum, looking at how Christians have responded to it over fourteen centuries during which adherents of the two religions have often found themselves in conflict. It then asks how Christians living in contemporary multicultural Britain might best approach this enduringly problematic situation. The course will focus largely on issues of theology and religious thought and, presuming a basic knowledge of Islam, will examine some of the issues involved in the complex relationship between Islam and modernity.

New Testament Greek

An introduction to grammar and biblical texts in Greek.

Patterns of Spiritual Growth and Personal Transformation

Examine how historical and contemporary Christian writers and theologians have contributed to its understanding.

This module will have a historical section, in which students will examine critically and reflect upon the ways in which Christian spiritual writers and theologians in the past have described and conceptualized processes of personal growth and transformation within a context of Christian spirituality. The module will also have a contemporary section in which major recent and present-day contributions to the understanding of spiritual and personal growth and transformation, again within a largely Christian context, will be examined. Attempts will also be made to correlate these theories and patterns with contributions from psychological disciplines.

Philosophy Essays

Develop your skills in interpretation, analysis and reasoning by researching and writing on three areas of particular interest (from a given list of topics).

This is a module which allows students to write three in-depth assignments on a philosophical topic of their choice from one not presently appearing in the list of Heythrop post-graduate philosophy modules.  At the beginning of the term, at a meeting with a tutor who has accepted the student's invitation to supervise this work, three essay questions are assigned and reading-lists issued.  Student and tutor agree on deadlines for submission (which are communicated to the virtual learning environment) and dates for tutorials are also fixed.  Examples of subjects for the three essays are: 'Plato and Aristotle', 'Aesthetics', 'Aquinas', 'Hegel', 'Phenomenology' and 'Levinas'.

Political Philosophy

A detailed introduction to some important concepts and theories in political philosophy.

The first lecture will introduce the module and the distinctive approach adopted, linking it to mainstream approaches in political philosophy. The actual themes chosen may vary from year to year depending on interest and current issues. The following themes are typical: rights; liberty; political obligation; equality; cosmopolitanism; war and terrorism; crime and punishment; religion and public reason.

Psychology and Religion

Focus on historical and theoretical approaches to understanding belief and practice, e.g. Freudian, Jungian, humanistic, phenomenological and behaviourist approaches.

This module offers understanding of the theoretical and historical foundations of the field:

  • The nature of psychology of religion, including its historical roots, its methods, and problems that face the field
  • Key thinkers such as William James, Sigmund Freud; Erich Fromm C.G. Jung; Gordon Allport, and B.F. Skinner
  • Motivational approaches (e.g., clinically based approaches to the need for religion and psychological structures that sustain belief)
  • Social-psychological approaches (e.g., characteristics of  believers and belief)
  • Behavioral and biological approaches (e.g. neuroscientifc correlates of religious experience)
Psychological Perspectives on Religious Development

Critically examine psychological and religious approaches to the evolution of religious faith and practice in the course of the life-cycle, e.g. in childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age.

Topics include:

  • Models of psychological development
  • Stages in the process of faith development
  • Issues in faith development at particular points in the life cycle
  • Nature and nurture
  • The relationship of psychological and theological models of faith development
Reading 1 Corinthians

Look at topics raised in Paul's letter such as improper behaviour, food offered to idols, the married and the single.

The city of Corinth was well known in the ancient world as a centre of trade and culture. Two letters of Paul addressed to the church at Corinth have been preserved and these give us insight into the types of problems Paul encountered with his church communities. This module focuses on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Written in the early 50s CE, the letter deals with such topics as divisions in the church; improper behaviour; the married and the single; food offered to idols; whether or not women should cover their heads during worship; the Lord’s supper; spiritual gifts; and the resurrection. We will examine these issues through an analysis of the text of the letter along with an appreciation of the letter’s wider context and place in the development of Paul’s thought.

Reason and Religion

Examine historical and contemporary topics such as arguments for and against the existence of God, the nature of religious belief and language, and ideas of the afterlife.

This module focuses on a selection of key arguments about the existence and nature of the divine, and the implications of these for human life. It examines the work of philosophers from a range of religious traditions and none, and encourages an understanding of both historical debates and current developments in each topic. The module aims to cover most of the Philosophy of Religion topics from the AS and A2 Philosophy (AQA) syllabus for those with an interest in teaching AS/A2 Philosophy, although it is intended for anyone with an interest in studying the rationality of religious belief.

Religion and the Religions in the Modern World

Examine some of the most important theoretical issues associated with the study of religion in the context of Modernity.

First examine the impact of Modernity on the study of religion and the contemporary discussions about the category of “religion”. Then look at three approaches of studying it including sociological, anthropological, and phenomenological approaches.  Finally, the module will introduce philosophical/critical hermeneutics as a critique of objectivity and ideology in social sciences then it will examine the ramifications of this critique for the study of religion. 


Religion: Context and Crisis

This module will address critical issues of the contemporary context from sociological and theological perspectives.

It will ‘model’ the pastoral theological approach and methodology and deepen understanding of themes of political and liberation theology and the sociology of religion.

Research Skills in Philosophy

Learn research skills - research methodology, project management and a dissertation workshop - as well as subject-specific skills in our philosophy research student seminar.

This module is divided into training on generic research skills, e.g. research methodology, project management, dissertation workshop, and subject-specific skills, developed through a philosophy research student seminar. The seminar combines discussions of metaphilosophy, students’ draft research proposals, and sessions on students’ work, with feedback on presentation skills.

Research Skills in Theology

Analyse and critically present the main themes in contemporary theological debate and develop the broad outlines of your research proposal.

As an introduction to research methods and forms of analytic and critical theological writing, this module enables students to reflect creatively upon many of the salient aspects of life in a complex, pluralist and multi-faith society.  It is taught in two parts. The first consists of generic research skills, particularly methods and styles of theological writing in the contemporary world and the various ‘publics’ that theology can be seen as addressing.  The second part considers a number of more detailed questions, such as the relationship between theology and the social sciences, ecclesial practices and contexts, hermeneutics in pastoral situations, and the different ‘voices’ of theology.   

Sacramental Law

Discuss the canons relating to the sacraments and their celebration.

This module introduces students to issues arising in Book IV of the 1983 Code of Canon Law relating to the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, reconciliation, anointing and orders.


Scientific Study of Religion

Look at main areas and methods of research and their value to the understanding of the individual.

This module introduces research methods commonly applied in the psychology of religion and critically examines major area of research. Students will have an opportunity to practice the application of the research approach and methods. Topics include:

  • Introduction to research methods
  • Religious conversion
  • Mysticism
  • Religious identity
  • Faith and psychotherapy
  • Fundamentalist thinking, authoritarianism, and prejudice
  • Quantitative, qualitative and hermeneutic approaches
  • The stages of developing a research project
Second Temple Judaism

Examine a variety of texts in their historical and philosophical contexts.

In this module, you will study a variety of texts from Second Temple Jewish literature (early second century BCE to 135 CE). You will examine the historical and philosophical context of the creative interaction between Judaism and Hellenism through study of the continuity and plurality of ideas between the Old Testament and the New Testament and beyond, focusing on concepts ranging from messianism to ideas about death, immortality and resurrection.

Selected Themes in European Philosophy

Explore a number of the themes that have emerged from the fascinating and challenging history of European philosophy.

Areas to be covered include: the one and the many, creation, the good, time, scepticism, freedom and technology.

Spiritual Direction in the Tradition of Ignatius of Loyola

Explore texts of Ignatian origin and those that emerge in the Ignatian tradition on spiritual direction.

This module will explore the art of spiritual direction in the tradition of Ignatius of Loyola. We will examine its development from texts of Ignatian origin as well as those that emerge from the tradition. The practice of spiritual direction as it arises from the Spiritual Exercises will be a central part of the module. While the foundational texts will be of historical origin we will also explore some aspects of contemporary interpretation of the tradition.

Spirituality and Society

Explore the emerging quest for a Christian spirituality that is socially and politically contextualised and ethically integrated.

Examine, discuss and interpret the spiritual resources of Christianity as tools for social transformation, assessing key texts from the traditional and contemporary canons.  The main elements are the relationship between spirituality and embodiment, including gender and sexuality; society, including work, money and social transformation; and creation, including ecological questions.

Spirituality, Religion and Ethics in Contemporary Healthcare

Expand your understanding of spiritual, religious and ethical issues which are not normally part of medical formation.

Although broad in its scope, this module offers an academically rigorous and structured reflection on the subject of spirituality and its related themes from the fields of philosophy, theology and ethics. It is designed to enable healthcare professionals and all those interested in the subject to expand their understanding of spiritual, religious and ethical issues which are not normally part of medical formation, and encourages the development of a critical overview of the growing body of literature on this complex field. It explores such concepts as: ‘the human person’, ‘the meaning of life’, ‘care’ and ‘justice’ and examines the bases of (and some difficulties with) of the language of ‘human dignity’, ‘sickness’, ‘health’, ‘stigma’, ‘vulnerability’

Taught as an intensive module. Teaching dates for 2016/17 are yet to be published.

Teaching Philosophy and Ethics

A module specifically geared towards teachers of Philosophy.

This unique module provides an in-depth discussion of the requirements and resources for A level syllabi, training in teaching generic philosophical skills of reasoning and argument, and the Philosophy for Children methodology. This module is recognised by SAPERE for Level 1 training and qualification.


The Bible in the life of the Church

Examine the Bible as the central religious, spiritual, intellectual and cultural source for faith communities of Judaism and Christianity.

This module examines the Bible as the central religious, spiritual, intellectual and cultural source of communities of faith: Judaism and Christianity in its various denominations. Exegetical analysis of selected Biblical texts will be reflected against the backdrop of their theological, liturgical, artistic and musical reception. Communities of faith will be seen both as the hermeneutical framework for the interpretation of canonical texts as well as inspired and fostered by them. According to specific interests of students, the module will also give an opportunity to improve practical skills regarding the “ministry of the Word”.

The Franciscan Spiritual Tradition: Faith, Reason and Spirituality

Explore the spiritual and theological tradition in the writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Bonaventure and John Duns Scotus.

This module will explore the spiritual and theological tradition that originated with St Francis of Assisi.  It firstly examines the spiritual writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi and the moves on to see how their experience was reflected upon and developed for a wider audience in the theological and spiritual writings of the early Franciscan writers, Bonaventure and John Duns Scotus.  The module will finally consider how the Franciscan tradition provides insights for issues of contemporary spirituality, including the Spirituality of Beauty and the Integrity of Creation.

The People of God

Concentrate on: the development of rights in Western thought; a historical overview of rights in canon law; collections of law and Gratian; human rights and the Church; the1983 Code and the obligations and rights of all Christ's faithful, lay faithful, and clergy; the formation, incardination and excardination of clergy; the canon law of parishes and their reorganization; child protection, safeguarding and dismissal of clergy; the removal and transfer of parish priests; hierarchical and administrative recourse; and rights of defence.


Theology of Religious Life

Explore the call to religious life, its mission in the Church and the form its future might take. You will reflect critically on religious life from a broad spectrum of disciplines.

This module explores the theological foundations of life within religious congregations and orders. In an exploration of the Biblical, historical, spiritual and ecclesiological aspects of this life we will examine the concepts of vocation and charism, models of community, prayer and ecclesial life as well as looking at paradigms for the religious life of the future.  Source texts from various traditions and ecclesial documents will be studied together with contemporary writing on the consecrated life from a variety of contexts.  Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on religious life from a broad spectrum of disciplines.

Understanding Religion in the Age of Modernity

Explore theoretical approaches to religion developed over the last two centuries and the ground-breaking work of philosopher Charles Taylor on the origins of the modern secular worldview and responsible religious faith within it.

This module will consider the role of religion in the genealogy of modernity. Beginning with a discussion of the meaning of the terms “religion” and “modernity” It will proceed to investigate some of the major challenges that modernity poses to religious faith and examine the neuralgic issues which have come to dominate recent discussions. As well as drawing on the personal research of the three module teachers in this area the work of major figures such as Charles Taylor and others will also be covered. Proposals for overcoming the current crisis of religious traditions in modernity will be developed as part of an overall assessment of possible future developments in both secular modernity and religious traditions.


Unity and Diversity in Contemporary Islamic Thought

Explore the tension between tradition and renewal in Muslim responses to the challenges of modernity. You will study the foundational texts of Islam (Qur’an and Sunna) in relation to key issues such as Islamic law, gender and jihad, as well as religious pluralism and interfaith relations.

Modernity has had a fundamental impact upon almost all societies, including Muslim ones. This module will provide an overview of the debates and issues that have emerged in modern and contemporary Muslim discourse.  The module has two focal points: First, it will explore the tension between tradition and renewal that characterises Muslim responses to the challenges of modernity; Second, it will show the centrality of the foundational texts of Islam (Qur’an and Sunna) and how Muslim attitudes to and interpretations of these texts inform and shape their views on key issues such as Islamic law, gender, jihad, human rights, democracy as well as religious pluralism and  interfaith relations with Judaism and Christianity.

Women in the Old Testament and Intertestamental Era

Consider the hermeneutical and exegetical issues of texts concerning women.

This module will introduce students to the hermeneutical and exegetical issues associated with the study of Old Testament and Intertestamental texts concerning women, and texts which have affected women’s lives. We will consider a range of selected texts in their literary, historical, social and anthropological contexts and examine a variety of interpretations of these texts.